Breaking Through the Excuses to Advance Your Degree – Joseph Ariale

 Published: February 21, 2018

By: Heather Willden


breatking through image

For many of us, we face a variety of obstacles that prevent us from pursuing higher education. Barriers may include cost (How can I pay for school?), busy schedules (I don’t have time or I have too many family obligations.), or balancing a full time job (I work full time, how can I also attend classes?). We asked four AARC members who are currently pursuing advanced degrees to share their experiences and how they overcame these obstacles. This month, we’ll learn how Joseph Ariale, RRT is advancing his degree.

Joseph’s story

photo of Joseph Ariale
Josephe Ariale, RRT, is working on his BSRT while juggling a full-time job and new home purchase.

“There are quite a lot of barriers that can prevent people from advancing their degrees,” Ariale said. “As I pursue my own advanced degree, I too am finding new barriers regularly that make this goal challenging.”

Ariale is quick to admit that it’s “incredibly easy to let those barriers keep you from going back to school.”

He’s only been working as an RRT for about three months, and has quickly encountered obstacles.

“I work full time night shift, so by the simple nature of being on the opposite schedule of most of my friends and family, I like to spend time with them when I have days off,” Ariale said. “When I’m not working, I go back over some of my notes from school to make sure I keep all of that knowledge fresh in order to provide the best patient care that I can.”

Ariale has also recently purchased his first house.

“So getting that set up and moving everything over has been quite time consuming,” Ariale said.

Ariale works in a children’s hospital, and sees many cases of respiratory illnesses, which unfortunately also led to him getting sick.

“I have been told by my coworkers that this is rite of passage for all new hires after which I will have an incredibly strong immune system,” Ariale said. “I look forward to that day!”

Not giving up

“These are all things that keep me incredibly busy and give me plenty of reason to not continue on in school,” Ariale said. “The reason I push onward to obtain my BSRT is because I have made it a priority. I whole-heartedly believe that this is the future of the profession.”

Arialae looks forward to the skills he will learn in his program.

“They will help me to provide what I ultimately want, which is to provide the best care possible for my patients,” Ariale said. “I will not stop advancing that goal, and if I can be an inspiration to others along the way, I will be happy to provide that inspiration.”

To help alleviate some of these obstacles, Ariale chose to attend a BSRT program that is entirely online, making it much more accessible for him.

Make it a priority

“My advice to someone wanting to pursue an advanced degree is to make it a priority,” Ariale said. “It should be a priority because by the end of whatever program you attend, you will have gained skills that will help improve patient care. After all, isn’t that why we got into the healthcare field to begin with?”

Ariale believes advancing your degree helps keep your job fresh, avoid burnout, and fuel motivation. He also encourages members to attend AARC meetings, such as Congress.

“Attending the AARC Congress the past two years has been a tremendous inspiration,” Ariale said. “While there, I get to meet and network with people who have a similar passion and drive for advancing the profession.”

It is this mission—the progress of the profession—that pushes Ariale to pursue his degree.

“That is why I continue to make time in my daily schedule to work on obtaining my BSRT,” Ariale said. “It is not easy in the short term, but it is totally worth it in the long run. I can’t wait to see our profession in a few years.”

Tips For Advancing Your Degree

Stay tuned next month as we meet Laura Hartman BS, RRT, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS who just completed her master’s program.

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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